Camino to the Coast

About the Experience

Want in on the best kept secret? While many consider Santiago the end of the Camino, it’s really the beginning. If you watched The Way you will be nodding along remembering the bit where Martin Sheen decides to carry on to the ‘end of the world’ in Finisterre. If you haven’t watched The Way, that’s your first Camino homework assignment! 

You can follow on the heels of Sheen and resilient 9th century pilgrims who relied on the Milky Way (the world’s first navigation app) to find their way to the westernmost reaches of continental Europe. Even the Virgin Mary checked out Muxía (by stone boat–but that’s another story).

The landscape, mood and energy all palpably shift from Santiago for those who head for the rapture of the coast and the fury of the Atlantic that pummels into it. The reverberating church bells, briny breeze, bobbing fishing boats and endless stands of forest are the stuff that meditation is made of. It’s like yoga on the move and it’s full of om and OMG!

From Santiago to Finisterre, this 118-km (73 mile) route is one that dreamers follow in anticipation of enlightenment. Midway, the fishing village of Muxía pulses with the incoming tide and church bells. This is a route of unparalleled scenery, history and dare we say, magic.

At the end of the world, everything suddenly makes sense. You’ll have to see for yourself. Better yet, why not join a team of Wild Women to share in the thrill of experiencing the very last sun of the day on the very edge of the world?

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Camino to the Coast

About the Experience

Want in on the best kept secret? While many consider Santiago the end of the Camino, it’s really the beginning. If you watched The Way you will be nodding along remembering the bit where Martin Sheen decides to carry on to the ‘end of the world’ in Finisterre. If you haven’t watched The Way, that’s your first Camino homework assignment! 

You can follow on the heels of Sheen and resilient 9th century pilgrims who relied on the Milky Way (the world’s first navigation app) to find their way to the westernmost reaches of continental Europe. Even the Virgin Mary checked out Muxía (by stone boat–but that’s another story).

The landscape, mood and energy all palpably shift from Santiago for those who head for the rapture of the coast and the fury of the Atlantic that pummels into it. The reverberating church bells, briny breeze, bobbing fishing boats and endless stands of forest are the stuff that meditation is made of. It’s like yoga on the move and it’s full of om and OMG!

From Santiago to Finisterre, this 118-km (73 mile) route is one that dreamers follow in anticipation of enlightenment. Midway, the fishing village of Muxía pulses with the incoming tide and church bells. This is a route of unparalleled scenery, history and dare we say, magic.

At the end of the world, everything suddenly makes sense. You’ll have to see for yourself. Better yet, why not join a team of Wild Women to share in the thrill of experiencing the very last sun of the day on the very edge of the world?

DAY ONE: SANTIAGO TO PONTE MACEIRA

At 9 AM have your hiking shoes double-knotted and your game face on! Meet your Wild Women Camino guide in the lobby of Virxe da Cerca in Santiago.

From here, you will begin your walk across the famed Plaza de Obradoiro (the main square) to absorb a full-on view of the Santiago cathedral. The Camino route winds out from the pavement and cobbles of the city to the natural embrace and shade of the Carballeira (oak forest) of San Lourenzo. While everything you see will be unexpected, you can expect to fall into a gorgeous trance of pastoral villages, sprays of wildflowers and red-roofed stone houses to the medieval bridge of Augapesada. Follow the signature yellow arrows and stone markers through Carballo, Trasmonte to the endearing village of Ponte Maceira and its 14th century bridge.

After we’ve put in the day’s legwork, we’ll take a shuttle back to our hotel to stretch out for the night.

Meals Included: Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Virxe da Cerca
Hiking Distance: 17.5 km (11 miles)
Head’s up: We recommend spending the night before the trip begins in Santiago. Shake off the jet lag and get in the proper Camino groove.

 

DAY TWO: PONTE MACEIRA TO VILACERIO

Today’s route splits through a blend of forests and farmland. From Ponte Maceira onward to Muxia, don’t expect a high frequency of landmarks, cozy cafes, fruit stands or shops to purchase Band-aids! Dorothy, you ain’t in Kansas anymore! This is the country! However, we will pass through Negreira, a modern town known for its heavenly pastry shops and the fortified medieval Pazo de Cotón. It’s a sweet stop.

Following the el Camino Real (the “Royal Road”) and its steady climb, we’ll slip into the rural vibe and sounds: purring tractors, tittering European robins and velvety valley views. You’ll be under the canopy of oak forests, following the trail past knee-high ferns and ivy-covered fence line through the tiny hamlets of Zas, Rapote and Portocamiño. Upon arrival in Vilaserio, we will shuttle to Casa do Folgo to unwind for the night.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Casa do Folgo
Hiking Distance: 18 km (11.2 miles)

 

DAY THREE: VILACERIO TO OLVEIROA

On today’s route, the Camino follows a section of infrequently travelled paved roads–expect to see more cows than people! We will walk through  Santa Mariña and Bon Xesus and follow the quiet roads around Monte Aro with unobstructed views of the Fervenza Reservoir to tiny Lago. 

After lunch, we’ll encounter the intriguing church with a detached bell tower and rare gallery cemetery in the village of Corzón. Stunning rural architecture is slowly revealed in Olveiroa’s village cross, communal wash house and clusters of stone houses. 

The dozens of mystical-looking raised stone granaries or hórreos (also known as corn cribs) are a construction marvel. Be forewarned: You will return home with dozens of corn crib photos! 

We’ll end our walk here and put our feet up to reflect on a truly pastoral day.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Casa do Folgo
Hiking Distance: 20km (12.4 miles)

DAY FOUR: OLVEIROA TO QUINTÁNS

After a restorative sleep and a punchy coffee at breakfast, we’ll return to Olveiroa to climb up the remote shrubland to take in the endless views of the Xallas River canyon to Hospital (*not that kind of hospital! It’s a village). This village once had a pilgrim’s hostel but is now home to a carbide factory. (*Carbide is a compound frequently found in trekking poles, ski poles, cleats and fishing weights.)

We will leave the pilgrim-worn trail that snakes to Finisterre and head northwest. It will be a few downhill kilometers to the village of Dumbría and follow the Camino in all its changing forms: shady forest tracks, quiet roads, grassy stretches and stone-paved segments–all of which comprise the old Camino Real. The ubiquitous eucalyptus will find its way into our noses for most of the afternoon. We’ll take five in Senande to visit and be entertained by Xesus and his doting mother, Maria. 

The final 5km (3.1 miles) to Quintáns are easy-peasy and this is where we’ll be calling it a day!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Tonight’s sweet sleep: Casa Castineira
Hiking Distance: 19km (11.8 miles)

 

DAY 5: QUINTÁNS TO MUXÍA 

The turbulent Atlantic Ocean will soon be on our horizon! We will have a day of climbing up and down and up and down again through San Martiño de Ozón (known for its enormous granary and Benedictine Monastery). We’ll climb and then descend to Merexo and then from Os Muiños, we’ll have one final ascent before arriving at the beach. Pull off your trail runners and feel the cool relief of the Atlantic waters–or wade in even deeper and go for a full-on dip! It’s a pilgrim rite of passage!

A boardwalk leads around the scenic bay to the small and colourful fishing community of Muxía. 

After lunch, our day will culminate at the famed Punta da Barca, the dramatic rocky point where the 17th century chapel of Nosa Señora da Barca stands. Here you can find the hull, sail and rudder of the stone boat that brought the Virgin Mary to this magical spot. 

We will have the afternoon to enjoy Muxía’s charms as we wish.

Don’t miss the syrupy sunset on the rocks or be surprised when you make a promise to yourself to return in the future. It’s unavoidable–you will fall under Muxía’s spell…

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Casa Castineira
Hiking Distance: 14km (8.7 miles)

 

DAY SIX: MUXÍA TO LIRES

We’ll depart Muxía’s embrace via the main road, and follow the coastline past the honeyed sands of Lourido Beach. Many pilgrims can’t resist the temptation to run headlong towards Lourido for one last splash. The Camino takes an upward turn here to Monte Facho, up through pine and eucalyptus plantations to where wind turbines spin in a fury. The panoramas are breathtaking–and it’s the ideal place to catch your breath too! You will descend past the Romanesque church of Santa Maria at Morquintián, through Guisamonde to the riverside village of Lires. There’s a large trout farm and numerous seabirds make their home in the protected lagoon. Look for the usual gang of hang ten surfers who are trying to catch the best curls of the sea.

 

Meals Included: Breakfast only
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Casa Castineira
Hiking Distance: 14 km (8.7 miles)

 

DAY SEVEN: LIRES TO FINISTERRE

Who needs Spotify when you can listen to the volume of the pounding sea? The shore will be on your right shoulder for most of the day as the trail follows the serpentine River Lires on its short journey to the ocean, along the beaches of Nemiña and Lires. Southwards, the Camino weaves over the headland and past the tiny community of O Rostro. With rosy cheeks, wind your way along country roads through the communities of San Salvador, Escaselas and San Martiño de Duio. Remember, it’s not a race to the end of the world! Indulge in those giant vistas of Langosteira’s bay as you approach the town of Finisterre from above. Finisterre has a hum of its own and the bustling town of fisherman and shopkeepers quickly replaces the halcyon days of rural solitude (but in a good way!).

There’s no need to look for signs at this point. Follow the small crowd onwards and upwards for a few more kilometres (or miles for the Americans!) to the pinnacle. The penguin march of pilgrims out to Cape Finisterre and the historic lighthouse beacon is full of laughter and hand-holding for those who embarked on their Camino in France, 920km (572 miles) ago. Regardless of where you started, the end and those who find themselves in Cape Finisterre at the Mile 0 marker, it’s the beginning of more remarkable moments to come.

Linger as long as you can in the sun, salt, surf and spirit of the Camino and congratulate your fellow Wild Women for their legwork. We’ll have a celebratory drink in the fishing port before returning to our hotel for the night.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Hotel Prado da Vina
Hiking Distance: 18km (11.2 miles)

 

DAY EIGHT: FINISTERRE TO SANTIAGO

After breakfast, we will transfer back to Santiago together (2.5 hours) to share bear hugs, email exchanges and a few inside jokes. Your hiking shoes will have a few more stories to tell after this one.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Maybe your own bed back at home? Or, Santiago? 

 

TRAIL MAP

*This itinerary may change slightly due to accommodation availability, rain, festivals, sheep crossings, really good café con leches and spontaneous side trips.

* This is not an endurance race, nor a competition unless you can walk on your hands! If you can do that, please show off! At Wild Women, we believe in being respectful of all the different paces and walks of life that come together on this group trip. It can be a cakewalk, let’s do it together!

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!

Wild Women Expeditions and our local partners intend to adhere to the described itinerary. This is only a general guide to follow on your tour of the region. Our itineraries are subject to change, as we cannot predict the weather or other environmental conditions. We are continually striving to make improvements to all our trips based on feedback from Wild Women members, guides, partners, and other research. We reserve the right to alter itineraries based on the above at any time.


Since you will be meeting your group at 9 AM on Day 1, Wild Women Expeditions recommends booking a pre-trip night at the Virze da Cerca in Santiago, which is your rendezvous location.

Departure from Spain

  • Your departing flight out of Santiago de Compostela Airport can be anytime in the afternoon.
  • If you plan on departing later, Wild Women Expeditions recommends booking at the Hotel Prado da Vina

 

Drop-Off Point:

  • Date: Day 8
  • Time: Noon
  • Location: Center of Santiago

If you plan on departing later, Wild Women Expeditions recommends booking at the Hotel Prado da Vina.

You are responsible for booking your own flights or other transport arrangements to the trip start location. These arrangements and any other independent arrangements that you may make are not a part of the trip booked with Wild Women Expeditions and are entirely at your own risk. Wild Women Expeditions accepts no responsibility, directly or indirectly, for any loss, damage or injury to property or person in connection with such arrangements. Should you require assistance with your travel arrangements, please contact:
Megan and Zale | ****Now Boarding Travel SpecialistEmail: wildwomen@nowboarding.travel

 

Note: Now Boarding Travel only provides services of 3-star quality or greater. For budget alternatives, please refer to the Lonely Planet guide for your destination.

 

Important: For international and remote destinations, there is always the risk of flight delays, baggage delays and flight schedule changes which may cause late arrivals, which may, in return, result in you missing the group tour departure. For these reasons, we encourage you to consider arriving a day early, which will also help you overcome any jet lag from traveling!


You are fully responsible for your own visa requirements, permits, and certificates for your trip. It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. It is your responsibility to check with the country’s Consulate and your country’s travel website such as Canada’s for up-to-date information about traveling internationally.

  • Passport

Most countries and airlines recommend passports be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected return to your home country. Before you leave, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules..

 

Important: A copy of your passport must be emailed to the Wild Women Expeditions office by 130-days pre-trip.

 

  • Visa

Visitors from certain countries require a visa to enter. Please check with a Spanish embassy or consulate.

 

Note: As fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.


Tips for the guide(s) have been included in the trip price.For trips where we have a bus driver, a gratuity of around 15 Euros per person (at the end of the trip), would be appropriate.

It is customary to leave a tip to thank waiters and other service providers. At restaurants, bars and coffee shops, it is customary to leave 10% of the total amount of the bill; if the service was very good, you may wish to leave up to 15%.


  • Rooming Arrangements

Our trip prices are based on shared rooms (minimum of two people per room—yes, you get your own bed!). We’ll team you up with another solo wild woman to share a room with if you’re on your own, or of course, you can share a room with your travel partner.

  • Private Upgrade

Subject to availability. If you have already indicated this preference on your registration form, you will be emailed a quote once availability is confirmed. If you are interested in this option, but didn’t indicate this on your form, please email us at support@wildwomenexpeditions.com with your request.

  • Camino Restrooms

There are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants along the Camino route that are available for toilet breaks. There aren’t many sections of the route where you will have to hold it for more than 5 km. Most bars and cafes allow you to use their toilet providing you buy a coffee or something from them.

Of course in times of emergency and if you feel comfortable you can do your thing on the route. Of course for men, this is much easier, but for women, you will need to find a bush. And if you are doing a number two, please do not put it in a plastic bag and leave it or hang it in a tree. If desperate times call for desperate measures bury it and be kind. Do not leave evidence of your business and do it far enough off the track.

  • Internet / WiFi / Cell Coverage

Some accommodations will have WiFi (although it is often just in the lobby / public areas) and others will not but you can find free WiFi in the bars and restaurants in the town or village that you are in. We generally stay at historic hotels, which often have thick walls so WIFI rarely works in the rooms.

In most of the albergues, hostels and hotels, or bars and restaurants that have WiFi, you will need to key in a password in order to get online. It will be posted up somewhere, or you will have to request it.

Using a Spanish SIM card from providers such as Yolgo, Orange, Movistar and Vodafone, is one of the easiest way to make calls. You can purchase SIM cards with pay-as-you-go credit which will cost you from around €10 euro. You can purchase very inexpensive phones locally, or you can bring your own unlocked phones.

  • Potable Water

Purified water is provided throughout the expedition.

On the Camino route you will find several public water fountains and taps to refill your water bottle. Signs will indicate “agua potable” if the water is monitored and safe to drink.

 

If you would like to join Wild Women Expeditions in its commitment to reducing single-use plastic, you can travel prepared with your own water treatment system!

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The accommodations on your Camino to the Coast Adventure are beautifully restored farmhouses known as Casa Rurales, and family-run Pazos, Galician manor homes and hotels. Most are located a little off-route from the Camino de Santiago situated in small towns and villages, away from the large cities so each day will involve a group transfer at the beginning and end of the day. All rooms have private bathrooms. The smaller inns have no phone or TV in the room.


The Way of Saint James, or better known as Camino de Santiago is a network of pilgrimage trails leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. According to legend, the body of Saint James is interred in the crypt of the cathedral. People have been walking the way since the 9th century when the King of Asturias declared the remains to be those of the apostle.Today, nearly 300,000 pilgrims a year make this remarkable journey on foot, by bike, by horseback or in a wheelchair to the shrine.Movies:

 

Books:

 

 

 

 

 

 



Wild Women Expeditions recommends that each participant should bring enough cash in local currency or available credit/debit funds to cover their meals during travel to and from their destination. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, meals not included in the trip package, shopping, etc., and we also suggest you have access to emergency funds.

  • Currency Exchange Offices & Banks

Currency exchange locations can be found in shopping malls or international airports. If you plan to exchange money in Portugal, be prepared to show your passport at the bank.

Please check online for current exchange rates. Wild Women Expeditions likes XE Currency Converter

We highly suggest you read this article: Where to Exchange Currency Without Paying Huge Fees for more information about this for your trip.

  • Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

Most people travel with an ATM card. Money machines are everywhere in Spain, but be sure you know your PIN number (not letters) before departure. It is one of the most convenient ways to get cash in Euros. You will often receive better exchange rates, even though you have to pay a service fee, as with most ATMs outside your bank network.

  • Credit Cards

If you have a credit card, you can use the ATM to purchase Canadian currency directly. Your monthly balance usually shows the exchange rate you received on purchases made with the credit card.

  • Cash

This is the best way to pay for items in the communities we will be visiting.

  • Budgeting

Since lunches will be a separate expense, please take this into account when budgeting for this tour. The Menu del Dia or Menu del Peregrino is available in local cafes will cost between 9 and 12 Euros. These are three-course meals with wine and water included – great value.


Please be sure to provide complete, accurate, and up-to-date information about your health & fitness level and keep us updated if there are changes. Wild Women Expeditions trips travel to remote areas where limited or no sophisticated medical facilities exist.A medical emergency situation is extremely unlikely; however, should it arise we need to be prepared with the necessary information to help you.Important Note: If you choose not to disclose a condition, infirmity, injury, or ailment herein and are subsequently deemed to be unfit for expedition travel due in whole or in part to such condition, infirmity, injury or ailment, Wild Women Expeditions guides, and partners shall have the right to remove you from the trip with no refund or compensation payable. Any evacuation expenses incurred are payable by the evacuee via their Medical Travel Insurance or personal expense.Getting FitYou don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy your Wild Women expedition. Not by a long shot! You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve with our experienced guides at your side and a little camaraderie.

That said, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself far more if you do some preparation so your body is conditioned and ready to enjoy and make the most of the outdoors.

 

Here are a few ideas to help you get ready:

  • Take every opportunity you can to be active.

You can improve your fitness a lot just by adopting some new habits; take the stairs at work, go for a walk at lunchtime, park your car away from work and walk. Aim for 30 minutes a day and keep a diary so you can look back on it and feel proud. These may sound trivial but they’re all building blocks!

  • Rev up your ticker!

Think ‘interval training’, which means doing short bursts of high-intensity work with recovery time in between. Depending on how fit you are this can mean strolling with bursts of power walking, or jogging with sprints. Either way, the aim is to get your heart rate up.

  • Join a local walking or running group.

This is a great way to get fit and you’ll also see new places, meet great people… and make them all jealous when they find out what you’re about to go on your travels.

  • Hill Training.

The most spectacular views aren’t from the bottom of a valley – so the places we go on our trips aren’t flat. A little time training on hills and stairs is an investment that’ll pay off big-time when you’re on your trip. When it comes to hills there’s no hurry – get into a slow steady rhythm and you’ll be at the top before you know it.

  • Warm up, cool down and stretch.

If you’re doing a workout then make sure you start and finish gently and stretch any tight muscles – this will help you avoid any aches, pains and pulled muscles. If you’re a member of a gym try some yoga, tai chi or pilates classes to build up your flexibility, stability and balance.

  • Practice ‘backpacking’.

Grab your backpack (or borrow one) and head for the hills! If you’re bringing your own backpack, practice adjusting the various straps so you know how it feels in different positions. We aren’t multi-day hiking every day, but you’ll be carrying a day pack almost everyday, so it’s well worth a bit of practice. Backpacks sit differently and so change your centre of balance when it’s full of gear so make sure you put a few pounds of weight in it in training.

  • Break in your hiking boots.

Blisters and sore feet are no fun at all! So make sure that while you’re getting yourself ready you’re doing the same for your boots. Start by just wearing them around the house, then down the road, and walking the dog. Then ideally do a couple of decent length weekend hikes to prepare them for what is to come.

  • Hydration.

When you suddenly ask your body to walk or be active, it needs a bit more fuel than it needs when, say, sitting at a desk all day! The main thing your body needs is water, so stay hydrated and practice sipping water often. Getting a water bottle or hydration bladder is a great way to make sure you have it on hand at all times. Make a habit out of taking a bottle of water with you wherever you go.

  • Nutrition.

Eating little and often will keep your body well fuelled for outdoor exercise, especially food like nuts, dried fruit and bread. The odd bit of chocolate and a few boiled lollies are good for keeping your blood sugar levels up while you’re hiking as well!

  • Have fun!

The most important point of all! You are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. You’re going to meet some amazing people, see some wonderful places and create memories that will stay with you for life. The more prepared you are to tackle the various challenges, the more fun you will have. Also, with all the endorphins you create from all this training, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear! It’s a great way to boost your happy vibes.


For general Wild Women Expeditions FAQs please click here.